At this point in the year, many of us will be looking for reasons to shake off the cabin fever and get out of the house. And thankfully spring signals the start of the racing season and the Cheltenham Festival is definitely one of the highlights of the racing calendar.
The festival which takes place over four days from 10th until 13th March is the pinnacle of the British steeplechase horse racing season, but there is also a lot more going on there apart from the racing itself.
So here are a few excellent reasons as to why you should get yourself to the Cheltenham Festival!
The Cheltenham Festival is always crammed with celebrities and it makes an excellent place for a bit of people watching. In the past couple of years the celeb guest list has seen no less than the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Lily Allen, Katie Price, Jimmy Carr and even Ronnie Corbett got in on the action, bless him!
One of the best days to visit is Ladies Day on 11th March. All are encouraged to wear their finest – hats optional – as many flock to see the very finest of the season’s fashions on display.
The festival is also held handily close to St Patrick’s Day and as such there’ll be plenty of Guinness flowing as the very best in British and Irish racehorses compete for the honours. With over 15,000 Irish race-goers arriving every day, it almost feels like a mini-Dublin as the atmosphere is always highly charged and fun loving.
And they’re off!
But of course, a trip to the festival has to involve a flutter on the horses. The Cheltenham Gold Cup itself is held on the final day and is an incredible spectacle as dozens of horses sprint over three miles with 22 fences to jump.
So if you’re planning a bet, bring cash and then take your place in the grandstand and watch the action unfurl!
It’s always a good idea to wrap up warm, as it can be chilly out there in the early spring open air. And binoculars are also an excellent idea so that you can cheer on your favourite. Don’t worry if you forget, as binoculars are always available for hire, plus there are big screens handily dotted around.
And between the races there’s also plenty to do. There’s an amazing array of bars and restaurants that offer a massive selection of gourmet dishes and light bites.
Pick of the bunch might be the famous Chez Roux at Cheltenham restaurant that features award-winning dishes and some seriously deluxe wines. And what’s best is that the restaurant has a balcony so that you can cheer on your favourite horse whilst tucking into a gourmet meal!